Agate Falls on Middle Branch Ontonagon River

one of Michigan's grandest waterfalls

Closer look at Agate Falls
  • Highway over the river
  • Looking down over the ledge
  • Shadowy view of Agate Falls
  • Old trestle high above the falls
  • Closer look at Agate Falls
  • Side view, through the branches

Agate Falls is considered by many to be one of Michigan's most picturesque waterfalls. Cascading down shelves of terraced sandstone, the interweaving drops form a drop almost forty feet high. The middle branch of the Ontonagon River creates a wide, striking drop not often seen in the Upper Peninsula, only six miles downriver from the equally impressive Bond Falls.

The main feature in a designated state scenic site, this waterfall offers many amenities that more remote locations do not. A roadside park, the Joseph Oravec, on M-28 has park benches and rest rooms as well as a path leading under the highway to a viewing platform. A railroad trestle, now used as a seasonal ATV trail, can also provide bird's eye views of the waterfall below.


Park at the Joseph Oravec rest stop on the south side of M-28 a few miles east of Bruce Crossing. Several sidewalks lead west to the river. Follow them, turning downstream towards and under the highway's bridge. A small footpath heads up to the right once you're under the highway that will take you to the railroad trestle and an overhead view. Otherwise, continue on the main path to the viewing platform.

The adventurous may want to tackle the steep hillside to get closer views. Cut off the path before reaching the viewing platform and continue downstream. There are a few footpaths leading down but none are consistent. A bend downstream past the waterfall offer excellent direct views of the falls and some paths lead up the side, offering the chance to walk right on the rock levels of the falls themselves.

Comments (2)

  • jlo Mar 16, '18 I went and saw this falls last fall,,,stayed for 2 hrs just walking up stream and taking photos,,,absolutely lovely
    • Jacob P Emerick Mar 20, '18 That sounds fantastic. That river is very lovely.
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